One of the biggest canvases that artist Jogen Chowdhury painted about eight years ago to send a social message on women’s rights will go up for auction in Mumbai on March 30-31. The painting, which was done at the painter’s residence in Santiniketan and was titled ‘Story of a Woman’, is valued at Rs 4.5 crore.
The auction will also see paintings of Tagore and Gaganendranath, both national treasures, which can be auctioned but cannot be taken out of India.
Chowdhury’s painting, is a large canvas split into five parts that display different moods of a woman as she faces the various realities of life. It shows her happiness when loved and treated as an equal; but men often force themselves upon her and she is sexually violated. The canvases are named, ‘Love making’, ‘Submission’, ‘Romance’, ‘Friendship’ and ‘Aggression’. The length of the painting is 25 feet and the painter has used acrylic on canvas to portray the images in his characteristic style, popularly called the “Jo” style of imagery. “I have always tried to mix symbolism with realism in my paintings and perhaps, this is the biggest canvas I have painted. The reason for its mammoth size is the message that I wanted to give loud and clear. Women’s sexuality is often not respected but times are changing,” Chowdhury said from Delhi.
The Tagore painting is an untitled face, which is ink on paper, and is priced at Rs 30 lakh, while the Gaganendranath Tagore painting is an iconic ‘Metamorphosis’ grouped under his Swadeshi paintings. It is priced at Rs 10 lakh.
“Jogen Chowdhury is one of India’s leading modernists. The canvas put up for auction chronicles the life and emotions of a woman in different relationships,” said Tushar Sethi, CEO of Ashta Guru, which has organised the auction.
Chowdhury said this canvas would remain one of his most-loved works because of the message.
“I realise an important duty in the life of an artist is to spread social messages through aesthetics,” he said.
Source: Times of India